Opinion » Letters

Help improve treatment for addicts

San Luis Obispo Drug & Alcohol Advisory Board



 Kudos for Colin Rigley’s Nov. 13 article, “Stuck on the list.” Though some past New Times articles (such as the Feb. 2006 story about methamphetamine production) haven’t always displayed positive editorial judgment regarding the topic of substance abuse, his story presented a responsible and balanced perspective on a very important topic.

The dramatic elimination of Proposition 36 funding has resulted in a gap whereby substance abuse offenders in our county are unable to access needed services that will aid in their sobriety. The negative repercussions are seemingly endless, including increased rates of incarceration (which, ironically, cost the taxpayer disproportionately more than would the treatment) as well as the break-up of families when children are taken from an offender’s custody and placed in foster care.

The San Luis Obispo Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board, charged with providing oversight and recommendations to the County Board of Supervisors, has witnessed the wonderful work county agencies and nonaffiliated community-based organizations have done in addressing the needs of people struggling with drug and alcohol dependence. We commend the organizations and treatment providers for their hard work and diligence during times of diminished resources. However, such other service gaps in our community—as the lack of an accessible drug and alcohol detoxification facility highlight the need for a great deal more work.

Anyone who feels strongly about these issues is encouraged to attend one of our regularly scheduled public meetings that are held on the third Thursday of every month in the Annex Building behind the Health Campus on 2180 Johnson Avenue in the City of San Luis Obispo. We welcome community participation to address unmet needs related to substance abuse and treatment.

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